BEIRUT — A young woman rammed a car packed with explosives into a checkpoint of the Israeli-backed militia in southern Lebanon on Wednesday, and soldiers in Beirut foiled an attempt by gunmen to kidnap Portugal's ambassador.
Israel radio said the 18-year-old car bomber was killed and two militia guards were wounded in the suicide attack. But the Syrian National Social Party, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said in Beirut that 18 South Lebanon Army members and three Israeli officers were killed.
The pro-Syrian Lebanese party also said that 12 militiamen were injured in the blast in the Israeli-created border security belt--a strip 3 to 11 miles wide patrolled by the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army to prevent guerrilla attacks on northern Israel.
Suicide Driver Identified
The Lebanese party identified the suicide driver as Mariam Kheiredine, a party member from eastern Lebanon. The group said she carried out the bombing with 660 pounds of explosives packed into a Toyota sedan. She appeared on Beirut television in a pre-recorded interview, praising Syria and the Soviet Union and condemning the United States and Israel.